This morning on San Francisco’s KTUV News, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained that today’s tea party protests are not by any means an organic grassroots movement. Rather, she said, they are a deliberate astroturf campaign organized by two well-funded right-wing think tanks intent on obstructing the Obama agenda:
PELOSI: What they want is a continuation of the failed economic policies of President George Bush which got us in the situation we are in now. What we want is a new direction. … This [tea party] initiative is funded by the high end — we call call it astroturf, it’s not really a grassroots movement. It’s astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.
As ThinkProgress has documented, the principal organizers of the local tea party events are the well-funded right-wing think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. Both of which provided logistical support and public relations assistance, including “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”